Referred back (RB)

Where the NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA) cannot process a prescription item due to insufficient endorsed information, it’s returned to the pharmacy or GP practice.  

Each returned item is assigned an RB code to indicate the RB reason.

The most common reason why an item is returned is due to an incomplete endorsement, where one or more of the following is missing:

  • manufacturer or brand name - if not in the Drug Tariff and listed by more than one supplier
  • pack size - if more than one pack size is available
  • price - if NHSBSA does not hold a price for it

An item could also be returned if too much information is included in the endorsement.

Disallowed (DA)

Prescriptions returned marked as ‘disallowed’ let pharmacy contractors and GP practices know if an item has not been passed for payment. This is because the item is not allowed on an NHS prescription or to be claimed for in a GP practice.

Each disallowed item is assigned a DA code to indicate the DA reason.

Receiving RB and DA prescriptions

Pharmacy contractors

All RB and DA prescriptions will be received through the Manage Your Services (MYS) portal.

You’ll receive an email to your NHSmail account if any new RB or DA items have been generated. You must complete your returns on MYS.

You can view any RB items for completion by checking the ‘Unpaid items’ tab on the MYS landing page.

You can view any DA items by checking the ‘Disallowed Items’ tab on the MYS landing page.

From 1 February 2024, all RBs must be completed and returned to us no later than 18 months from the date they're first sent to the pharmacy. 

If you've not completed and returned any outstanding RBs on MYS, they'll be deleted from the system after the 18-month deadline has passed.

Any paper RBs sent before July 2022 will not be accepted by us if they're submitted after the prescription submission deadline for the dispensing month of January 2024.

GP practice

All RB and DA prescriptions will be received through the post.

Each RB item has an RB code listed underneath the image of the prescription. This states why the item was returned and explains what information needs to be completed for the prescription to be processed for payment. 

You must submit the RBs with your end of month submission.

If you’re unsure of why an item has been RB or DA or you do not know what needs to be endorsed, contact our helpdesk.

You can view video guidance here.